Thursday, August 27, 2009

Consider Employee Lending To Return Employees to Work

Thank you to Crystal Witham for the following item

“Mitigating workers compensation claims cost can be tricky. The best way to control challenging cases is managing an effective return-to-work program. How many times have we heard that? What about, "If you would just return this employee to a job within his restrictions, it would help with your experience modifier rate?" What if you are too small and do not have opportunities within your company?

There are charitable organizations that need volunteers desperately in order to continue the valuable work that they do for their communities. They need people to answer phones, schedule interviews, perform light janitorial tasks, and sell items in their used goods stores. Once an injured employee is released to return to some level of activity, this is an opportunity for an employer to "lend" that employee to a charitable organization. It shows the employer to be a good citizen and offers a much-needed service to the community. The employer pays the employee wages and may be eligible for a tax benefit, plus the workers compensation claim is being managed toward resolution. When the employee has reached full duty or a point in healing that the employer can accommodate, s/he can go back to his/her job or another employer. In most states, this is considered a suitable job offer.

What is the value? The bottom line is that by returning an employee to a job, the healing process is enhanced. Employee lending starts the act of work hardening by getting the employee back to the routine of going to a work environment. The employee becomes productive again, and the reconditioning process is in place.”

Crystal Witham ABA, ADR Senior Injury Management Consultant CM-Services Inc 207-487-3736